Some Japanese Buddhist proverbs too big for Twitter

Seeing as the trend lately is to over-think the obvious…

Some Japanese Buddhist proverbs too big for Twitter:

All evil done clings to the body.
(The consequence of any evil act or thought never,–so long as karma endures,–will cease to act upon the existence of the person guilty of it.)
Better to shave the heart than to shave the head.
(Buddhist nuns and priests have their heads completely shaven. The proverb signifies that it is better to correct the heart,–to conquer all vain regrets and desires,–than to become a religious. In common parlance the phrase “to shave the head” means to become a monk or a nun.)
Meeting is only the beginning of separation.
(Regret and desire are equally vain in this world of impermanency; for all joy is the beginning of an experience that must have its pain. This proverb refers directly to the sutra-text,–Shôja hitsumetsu é-sha-jori,–“All that live must surely die; and all that meet will surely part.”)
All things are merely dreams.
(Literally, “ten thousand things.”)
Even a common man by obtaining knowledge becomes a Buddha.
(The only real differences of condition are differences in knowledge of the highest truth.)
All lust is grief.
(All sensual desire invariably brings sorrow.) <- sounds like Tom, eh? :)
One must go outside to hear Buddhist doctrine or the sound of rain on a straw roof.
(There is an allusion here to the condition of the shukké (priest): literally, “one who has left his house.” The proverb suggests that the higher truths of Buddhism cannot be acquired by those who continue to live in the world of follies and desires.)
Out of karma-relation even the divine nature itself grows.
(There is good as well as bad karma. Whatever happiness we enjoy is not less a consequence of the acts and thoughts of previous lives, than is any misfortune that comes to us. Every good thought and act contributes to the evolution of the Buddha-nature within each of us.) <- sounds like Sharon now, eh? :)
Like monkeys trying to snatch the moon’s reflection on water.
(Allusion to a parable, said to have been related by the Buddha himself, about some monkeys who found a well under a tree, and mistook for reality the image of the moon in the water. They resolved to seize the bright apparition. One monkey suspended himself by the tail from a branch overhanging the well, a second monkey clung to the first, a third to the second, a fourth to the third, and so on,–till the long chain of bodies had almost reached the water. Suddenly the branch broke under the unaccustomed weight; and all the monkeys were drowned.) <- I love a happy ending… :)
To save folk having no karma-relation would be difficult indeed!
(No karma-relation would mean an utter absence of merit as well as of demerit.)

..and my favorite of this first bunch:

The priest who preaches foul doctrine shall be reborn as a fungus.

(no explanation needed!)

Beware false prophets, for they are “fungus among us“…


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